Szymon Chowanski* and Grzegorz Rosinski Pages 1088 - 1097 ( 10 )
Background: In mammals, the cholinergic nervous system plays a crucial role in neuronal regulation of physiological processes. It acts on cells by two types of receptors – nicotinic and muscarinic receptors. Both signal transmission pathways also operate in the central and peripheral cholinergic nervous system of insects.
Method: In our pharmacological experiments, we studied the effects of two muscarinic agonists (carbachol, pilocarpine) and two muscarinic antagonists (atropine, scopolamine) on the muscle contractile activity of visceral organs in the beetle, Tenebrio molitor.
Results: Both antagonists, when injected to haemolymph at concentration 10-5 M, caused delayed and prolonged cardioinhibitory effects on heart contractility in ortho- and antidromic phases of heart activity in T. molitor pupa what was observed as negative chrono- and inotropic effects. Agonist of muscarinic receptors – carbachol evoked opposite effect and increased contraction rate but only in antidromic phase. Pilocarpine, the second agonist induced weak negative chronotropic effects in the antiand orthodromic phases of heart activity. However, neither agonists had an effect on semi-isolated beetle heart in vitro. Only atropine at the highest tested concentrations slightly decreased the frequency of myocardial contractions. These suggest the regulation of heart activity by muscarinic system indirectly. The tested compounds also affected the contractility of the oviduct and hindgut, but the responses of these organs were varied and depended on the concentration of the applied compounds.
Conclusion: These pharmacological experiments suggest the possible modulation of insect visceral muscle contractility by the cholinergic nervous system and indirectly indicate the presence of muscarinic receptor(s) in the visceral organs of the beetle T. molitor.
Muscarinic acetylcholine receptors, muscle contractions, heart, oviduct, hindgut, Tenebrio molitor.
Department of Animal Physiology and Development, Faculty of Biology, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan ul. Umultowska 89, 61-614 Poznan, Department of Animal Physiology and Development, Faculty of Biology, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan ul. Umultowska 89, 61-614 Poznan